Where Can Domestic Violence Victims Turn During Covid-19?
The most dangerous place in the world for a woman is her own home. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, intimate partner violence affects millions of women every year.
In the time of the coronavirus, being quarantined with an abusive partner poses greater risks. An uptick in domestic violence has already been recorded in China. Since the beginning of the pandemic there, the hashtag #AntiDomesticViolenceDuringEpidemic has been trending on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo. In an interview with the magazine Sixth Tone, Wan Fei, the founder of an anti-violence nonprofit in Jingzhou, Hubei, said that reports of domestic violence have nearly doubled since cities went into lockdown.
Concerns are also mounting in the United Kingdom — where last year 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic violence — as a lockdown becomes increasingly likely.
Victims ordinarily wait to be by themselves before they seek help. They wait for their abuser to go to work. They secretly reach out to friends. They look for openings when they don’t have child-care obligations. All those options are closing down.